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Social wasps (Vespidae: Polistinae) on carcasses of Rattus norvegicus (Mammalia: Muridae) in the Central Amazonia, Brazil: possible forensic implications

Somavilla, Alexandre, Linard, Valdeana, Rafael, José Albertino
Revista Brasileira de entomologia 2019 v.63 no.1 pp. 18-21
Agelaia, Apoica pallens, Diptera, Rattus norvegicus, attractants, cages, eggs, forensic sciences, instars, larvae, rats, social wasps, tropical rain forests, Amazonia, Brazil
We evaluated the occurrence of social wasps in the decomposition process in tropical rainforest in central Amazonia (Ducke Reserve, Manaus, Brazil), using cadavers of rats as attractants, exposed in suspended cages. Ten species, in three genera, of social wasps were collected only in the initial stages of decay (fresh and bloated). Five species were collected, mainly in the fresh stage, feeding on flesh: Agelaia angulata, Agelaia constructor, Agelaia fulvofasciata, Agelaia pallipes and Angiopolybia pallens. Five species were collected, mainly in the bloated stage, feeding on flesh and eggs and first instar larvae of dipteran: Agelaia testacea, Angiopolybia obidensis, Apoica arborea, Apoica pallens and Apoica thoracica. Due to the aspect of the injuries caused by the wasps to the carcass, they may be mistaken as skin ulcers, burns or abrasions, which may mislead a forensic investigation.